ARSENAL chief Edu slammed the ageing superstars who were killing the club.
Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are among big-name stars who had their contracts paid up by Arsenal to leave.
Edu said: “When a player’s 26 or older, has a big salary and is not performing, he’s killing you.
“In the past, 80 per cent of the squad had those characteristics and there was no chance anyone would buy them.”
Gunners chiefs also paid off defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis to go.
Technical director Edu explained: “They don’t have a transfer value and are comfortable on a long contract living in London.
“So we needed to clean the squad and if we had to pay some to go, I considered it an investment.
“It’s better than having them blocking the path of another player. It’s not a problem if a player has a big salary and performs.
“I know it’s strange to go to the board and tell them, ‘Sometimes it’s better to pay a player to leave than to keep them’.
“I realise that hurts and some people say that it’s expensive — but you have to take the problem out.”
Now that purge is over, and £260.5million has been spent on 11 hungry young players over the past year, Edu feels the club is in good shape.
He added: “It’s important for people to see the direction we’re going in.
“Now we have a plan and I always said to Mikel Arteta and the board that 2022/23 will be the season we’ll be much better.”
EDU has CONFIRMED that Arsenal are interested in Brazil star Lucas Paqueta.
However the Gunners sporting director added that the club have yet to make an offer for the Lyon midfielder.
One man who the Gunners are said to be ready to bid for is Juventus’ Arthur Melo, with a loan offer reportedly lined up.
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